FOUR RAP songs in three languages — English, Hindi and Marathi. That is how four youngsters are trying to bring young voters out to the polling booths on October 21.
Raj Shinde, a 21-year-old digital marketing professional has composed ‘Badheer Yeh Samaaj,’ a Hindi song.
“Badheer means deaf. I felt that some voters don’t want to hear the truth. Despite corruption cases and scams riding on some politicians, they are elected. Through my song, I wanted to tell them to own their vote. It is our responsibility to ensure we only vote for those who have worked well,” he said.
Shinde, part of a band Meraki Fam, took help from his band members to include beat-boxing (mimicking drums using one’s mouth) in his track.
Pointing to the value of a person’s first vote, 19-year-old Vishnu Nair composed the Hindi song ‘Pehla Vote Pehla Pyaar’. “I wanted to emphasise that in a series of firsts, one’s first vote also matters, apart from things such as their first crush,” said the commerce student. Nair is part of the multi-lingual band Old Brothers, which writes songs on social issues among other things.
For the Marathi rap song titled ‘Vote Kara’, Rohan Rao, who goes by the stage name Emcee Astitva, penned his thoughts on probable reasons why 18-year-olds don’t vote. “When I was 18, I was of the opinion that registering for a voter identity card is a long-drawn procedure. We friends used to plan an outing on polling day as it is a holiday. As I look back, I want to tell others of that age to become aware and vote,” said the 22-year-old arts student.
The English rap song, still in production, asks youth to wake up and go to their nearest polling booths. The track has been composed by law student Shubham Gurav. “Many people don’t know about their role as a voter and I focused on that. I’m part of a band called FTS Music and been with them over two years now,” said the 20 year old.
Law student Chaitanya Prabhu, founder of an NGO Mark Your Presence commissioned the four separately to compose the songs. “We wanted to keep the songs as apolitical as possible. As long as people are going out to vote with awareness, it does not matter which party they prefer,” said Prabhu, who claims to have helped register 10,000 voters over the last four months.
Prabhu has also launched a website by the name of his organisation to help people register themselves as voters.